Signs of Abuse



Unexplained injuries

  • Unexplained burns or bruises in the shape of objects
  • You may hear unconvincing explanations of the child’s injuries

Changes in behavior

  • Appearing scared, anxious, depressed, withdrawn or more aggressive
  • Returning to earlier behaviors

Displaying behaviors shown at earlier ages

  • thumb-sucking
  • bed-wetting
  • fear of the dark or strangers

Fear of certain places or people

  • Child does not want to go home at the end of the day

Changes in eating

  • May result in weight gain or loss

Changes in sleeping

  • Child has frequent nightmare
  • Has difficulty falling asleep

Changes in school performance and attendance

  • Difficulty concentrating, excessive absences, grades dropping

Lack of personal care or hygiene

  • May appear uncared for, consistently dirty, severe body odor, lacking sufficient clothing for the weather

Risk taking behaviors

  • Using drugs or alcohol or carrying a weapon

Inappropriate sexual behaviors

  • Exhibiting overly sexualized behavior or using explicit sexual language